Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:26 pm

SDC wrote:When did I say should?

Lol ok I will rephrase ;)


How is there "room for improvement"?

What do you mean by "room for improvement"?


Although if you see "room for improvement" then that seems to mean that you see something lacking, which seems to indicate that you see a deficiency. Therefore you see that an improvement should be made. Unless of course you wish to be deficient, or to adhere to a deficient doctrine.

However a question then follows, why would you adhere to that which Is deficient? Or, if you do not want that, not try to resolve the deficiency?


So I repeat, how is there room for improvement?
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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:07 pm

For myself, a problem in buddhism is its tendency towards moral absolutism. That X is "wrong" in every circumstance. Though I'm not sure if this is true in Buddhadhmma.


For example I can't see how lying, theft or killing is always wrong ...
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SDC
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by SDC » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:50 pm

clw_uk wrote:
SDC wrote:When did I say should?

Lol ok I will rephrase ;)


How is there "room for improvement"?

What do you mean by "room for improvement"?


Although if you see "room for improvement" then that seems to mean that you see something lacking, which seems to indicate that you see a deficiency. Therefore you see that an improvement should be made. Unless of course you wish to be deficient, or to adhere to a deficient doctrine.

However a question then follows, why would you adhere to that which Is deficient? Or, if you do not want that, not try to resolve the deficiency?


So I repeat, how is there room for improvement?
Do you think I was referring to the dhamma itself? Meaning that I was saying that Buddha presented a deficient teaching during his lifetime? DL's question about improvements was not limited to anything specific, and my comment about "room for improvement" was referring to the bloated state of Buddhist literature, and the difficulty it presents. Also I was clear that I did not see any improvement was possible with respect to that. Maybe you did not read my other post.

Personally I do not care if that changes or not.

Before you fire off another funhouse post lets make sure we are on the same page. :tongue:

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daverupa
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by daverupa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:04 pm

clw_uk wrote:For myself, a problem in buddhism is its tendency towards moral absolutism. That X is "wrong" in every circumstance. Though I'm not sure if this is true in Buddhadhmma.


For example I can't see how lying, theft or killing is always wrong ...
The intention for those things (e.g. killing, stealing, lying, and so forth) is always unwholesome, leading on to grasping and involvement and enmeshment and dukkha. The action and the context, however, may end up yielding a situation which is mixed dark and bright kamma leading on to mixed results. Furthermore, one act done by someone may result in purgatory of some fashion, whereas another person with the same act will experience whatever result in this very life. The simile of the salt crystal applies here, as does the Buddha's encouragement to Angulimala after the latter was wounded during almsround by townsfolk.

So it's quite complex. This is why the precise workings out of kamma-results are imponderable, though we can be assured of the principle.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:45 pm

Do you think I was referring to the dhamma itself?
I have no idea, that's why I asked because your post wasn't clear.
Meaning that I was saying that Buddha presented a deficient teaching during his lifetime? DL's question about improvements was not limited to anything specific, and my comment about "room for improvement" was referring to the bloated state of Buddhist literature, and the difficulty it presents. Also I was clear that I did not see any improvement was possible with respect to that. Maybe you did not read my other post.
I did but felt you was rather evasive



So you don't see any improvement to Buddhism, Buddhadhamma or it's corpus of literature?
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:49 pm

The intention for those things (e.g. killing, stealing, lying, and so forth) is always unwholesome, leading on to grasping and involvement and enmeshment and dukkha.
So if I lie to save Jewish children from the death camps, this is unwholesome intention?


Is the best thing to be detached, and watch a five year old be put on a train to austiwch?
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:08 pm

clw_uk wrote:
The intention for those things (e.g. killing, stealing, lying, and so forth) is always unwholesome, leading on to grasping and involvement and enmeshment and dukkha.
So if I lie to save Jewish children from the death camps, this is unwholesome intention?


Is the best thing to be detached, and watch a five year old be put on a train to austiwch?
Lie your face off, if it saves a life.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
The intention for those things (e.g. killing, stealing, lying, and so forth) is always unwholesome, leading on to grasping and involvement and enmeshment and dukkha.
So if I lie to save Jewish children from the death camps, this is unwholesome intention?


Is the best thing to be detached, and watch a five year old be put on a train to austiwch?
Lie your face off, if it saves a life.

Does that break Buddhist moral code, or is the Buddhist moral code subjective/relative?


Is then murder justified in Buddhism, if it saves lives?
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SDC
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by SDC » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:47 pm

clw_uk wrote:I have no idea, that's why I asked because your post wasn't clear.
SDC wrote:
danieLion wrote:I agree that Buddhism is byzantine, but that's a result of improvement attempts. You seem to be putting the cart before the horse. I might be wrong, but the history of Buddhism chronicles one attempt after another to improve it.
Agreed. Wasn’t saying otherwise. In the last 2500 years whether it be in an attempt to clarify, re-translate, re-establish, strengthen, consolidate, streamline, reinterpret, assimilate or even maintain what the Buddha taught, many efforts have brought a good deal of pork into the situation, and now even when there are teachers that provide a solid interpretation it does nothing to effect the overall product - the “overall product” being an authoritative interpretation that everyone agrees on. That ship has sailed or perhaps was never even there. So improvement in that respect does not seem possible. You can't get rid of the fluff.
Sorry this is unclear and evasive to you. DL asked a question and I gave my opinion and thought I was pretty clear in regards to what I brought up.

I know I'm not that great of a writer but is the above post really that unclear? Good teachers and good interpretations are still around, but overall it is swollen with nonsense. That is a problem I see and I I do not think is a good thing. So if this problem wasn't present that would be an improved situation. However I do not think that this condition will ever change. So that's that.

I don't know. Seems like you fish for people's underlying agendas and attempt to expose and neutralize them. I just get that impression from your posts. I'd love to keep this discussion going, but just be forward. I'm not here to force my ideas on anyone. We're just talking.

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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:48 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Does that break Buddhist moral code, or is the Buddhist moral code subjective/relative?
You tell me.

Is then murder justified in Buddhism, if it saves lives?
You tell me.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:51 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Does that break Buddhist moral code, or is the Buddhist moral code subjective/relative?
You tell me.

Is then murder justified in Buddhism, if it saves lives?
You tell me.

I was asking you ... :coffee:
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Dan74
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by Dan74 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:59 pm

clw_uk wrote:For myself, a problem in buddhism is its tendency towards moral absolutism. That X is "wrong" in every circumstance. Though I'm not sure if this is true in Buddhadhmma.


For example I can't see how lying, theft or killing is always wrong ...
I think this is a human tendency, especially where the said humans choose to adhere to a certain system of tenets. It is easier to deal with absolutes that complexities of life. I don't see this tendency in the Buddha of the Pali canon.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by Samma » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:08 pm

A moral code by its nature comes across as a static directive right? But what happens when a generally good (though static) directive comes in contact with changing circumstances...
Moral particularism is the view that the moral status of an action is not in any way determined by moral principles; rather, it depends on the configuration of the morally relevant features of the action in a particular context. It can be seen as a reaction against a traditional principled conception of morality as comprising a true and coherent set of moral principles. The chief motivation for moral particularism derives from the observation that exceptions to principles are common, and exceptions to exceptions are not unusual. Moral principles, which are equipped only to deal with homogeneous cases, seem to be too crude to handle the delicate nuances in heterogeneous moral situations.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/morlpat/

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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:08 pm

Dan74 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:For myself, a problem in buddhism is its tendency towards moral absolutism. That X is "wrong" in every circumstance. Though I'm not sure if this is true in Buddhadhmma.


For example I can't see how lying, theft or killing is always wrong ...
I think this is a human tendency, especially where the said humans choose to adhere to a certain system of tenets. It is easier to deal with absolutes that complexities of life. I don't see this tendency in the Buddha of the Pali canon.

The Buddha in the cannon does seem more flexible in relation to metaphysical absolutes than most Buddhists appear to be.
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clw_uk
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Post by clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:09 pm

Samma wrote:A moral code by its nature comes across as a static directive right? But what happens when a generally good (though static) directive comes in contact with changing circumstances...
Moral particularism is the view that the moral status of an action is not in any way determined by moral principles; rather, it depends on the configuration of the morally relevant features of the action in a particular context. It can be seen as a reaction against a traditional principled conception of morality as comprising a true and coherent set of moral principles. The chief motivation for moral particularism derives from the observation that exceptions to principles are common, and exceptions to exceptions are not unusual. Moral principles, which are equipped only to deal with homogeneous cases, seem to be too crude to handle the delicate nuances in heterogeneous moral situations.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/morlpat/

Depends on the moral system, or If your a moral sceptic, or emotivist etc.
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